I feel like maybe I’m alone in this opinion, but in the original Nightmare on Elm St films, the relationship that the character Nancy has with Freddy Krueger almost borders on the gothic.
Yes, he is evil. He has killed her friends and family and made her life a living hell. She didn’t ask for him to be brought into her life, that was the fault of the failed justice system and her parents trying to protect her from his evil.
But he is there, and every time he resurfaces, she will be there to punch him back down again.
Yet there’s something almost sickly sexual about their relationship. This may be due to the sexuality as violence metaphor prevalent in slasher films taken to a new level as Nancy is not the woman taking, but gives just as much damage and violence as Freddy gives her, bringing that metaphor to a new consensual level.
Pushing the hypothetical sexual subtext to the surface is what I consider to be the canonical ending of the franchise Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, where Heather Langenkamp as Heather Langenkamp as Nancy is facing off with Freddy for the final time in a twisted gothic-landscape, and it becomes a full-on punch-throwing, body-tackling brawl where each character has been pushed beyond the limits of horror and their only desire is to destroy each other.
Or is it? There’s a moment where Freddy shoves Nancy’s face into a brick stone in the wall. The actress Heather Langenkamp noted that the word on the stone is clearly “LUST.”
Are they going to kill each other or fuck?
It’s just a fan-theory that Freddy is more than just an evil predator, but he is also Nancy’s repressed sexuality. She seems so asexual throughout the entire series, with the exception of the violence of her constant struggle against Freddy Krueger.
End note, I wish the character of Nancy had as strong a fanbase as other horror movie heroines as I think she’s the most complex and fascinating of them all, save for perhaps Hellraiser’s Kirsty Cotton.
Fuck it, most of the horror film heroines deserve a hell of a lot more badass credit than they’ve gotten from the franchise fans. Nancy primarily among them.
Dear God, who else booby-traps their house and then beats the crap out of a dream-monster in their pajamas? Then goes to hell to kick the crap out of him again?